Kenny Jackett is set to judge the talents of Alex Bass before finalising his goalkeeping hunt.
The Pompey boss has at least one void to fill in between the posts after the departures of David Forde and Liam O’Brien since the end of last season.
Bass is the only shot-stopper currently on the Blues’ books.
The 19-year-old has ability in abundance and is held in high regard by coaching staff at Fratton Park.
The teenager crucially needs minutes on the pitch if he’s to maximise his raw potential, though.
Putting him through his paces in training is all well and good but, ultimately, playing regular matches and learning the tricks of the trade is how he will improve.
Bass spent last season on loan at Salisbury.
It would have proved an invaluable learning curve, and the fledging goalkeeper will be craving more first-team football at a standard higher than Southern League division one south & west.
Jackett should be commended for giving the Academy graduate a fair crack of the whip.
If the teenager grasps the chance by the scruff of the neck, it will save the Blues a lengthy hunt to bring in a new No1 and would be a saving on wages.
However, it would be pointless having the Huntingdon-born shot-stopper play second fiddle at Pompey this season.
It will significantly hinder the teenager’s progress if he doesn’t build on his campaign at Salisbury.
The Blues’ new boss has previously scarcely changed his starting XI in cup matches at previous clubs.
That could mean even fewer opportunities than in years gone by.
If a scenario arose and Jackett needed to call on Bass’ services, he potentially could be like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
One catastrophic error would be detrimental to his progress and quite possibly jettison his future altogether.
Game time is crucial for Bass’ development, whether that’s out on loan at a National League side or as Pompey’s No1.
– WILL ROONEY